Last Updated on October 25, 2021 by Scott Charleboix
This blog post, what I learned from the Free Blog Traffic Challenge is information learned from taking the free blog traffic challenge on Boss Girl Bloggers. By utilizing information herein this blog and if you take her course, you’ll be able to develop a marketing plan for your website.
This post contains affiliate links, I’ll make a commission at no
extra cost to you should you click through and make a purchase.
What I learned from the Free Blog Traffic Challenge
This particular blog is a blueprint of things to brand my own website and to hone in on some things that I don’t know yet how to do with WordPress and structure my marketing plan. Tomorrow (August 1st, 2020) represents my 1-month anniversary of using WordPress. This was a very beneficial class to learn about blogging. If you would like to learn more about blogging, please enroll in my Free Blogging Mini Course (pictured below):
Although, a lot of information has been learned by taking the Free 30-day Blog Challenge, there’s still a lot for this new blogger to fine tune his WordPress skills.
I love it when you learn something new. For weeks I’ve been using WordPress and relying on the Gutenberg Editor. I copied and pasted information from Word into my blog and then start making the edits. One of the most frustrating things is that WordPress will sometimes change my headings to a different format and I struggle with trying to retain the same format without losing the rest of my information.
Fortunately today, I stumbled across something to make life a little easier by looking closely at the Block Field (next to Document). Sure enough the same thing happened and my content is in list form and I want to convert it into a heading. All you need to do to remove the list format so that you can make your headers is to transform the list to a paragraph. I can’t believe it was something so relatively easy.
Although, the information reflected on the screen doesn’t appear the same as in the preview mode. That’s just going to come with experience as you get use to using WordPress and it’s nuances.
One of the easiest ways to add a table of contents to your blog is with a plug-in called Easy Table of Contents.
Branding your website
Fonts and Colors
Classic and Gutenberg Editor
Select the Classic editor, choose your color and then type in the text. It won’t work by highlighting a word.
Four required pages:
Your About Me Page
A Contact Page
Disclosure Policy Page
Marketing Plan – 4 Main Components
Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked-in, etc.)
E-mail marketing (Leadpages)
Yoast SEO Plug-in
Create your welcome series (Leadpages)
Monthly newsletter ideas
Favorite Plug-ins to use for WordPress
Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights
Insert Headers and Footers
Yoast SEO – (strike that, my new personal favorite plug-in to use for SEO is Rank Math Pro).
“Suggested” file image names are: 1 – Branded Blogging Image and 2 – Branded Pinterest Image
Ell suggests creating two branded templates (featured images) to switch out for each post that contain your logo (recommended size of 400 X 600).
“It will make a huge difference and bring a branded look to your posts … When you have a branded website, you look like you know a thing or two and you are going to be taken more seriously.”Boss Girl Bloggers
To make these two pictures easier to locate because they’ll be used on a regular basis, my suggestion is to name the files as indicated above so they can quickly be uploaded to your blog.
My website posts did not contain branded featured images. Although a majority of them did contain pins which were a size of 750 X 1100. You need to rely on the expertise of other bloggers instead of fiddling for yourself how to do things.
Don’t let the title of her course fool you, guys can sign up for the challenge too. There’s a lot of information crammed into this free blog traffic challenge course. One other important thing to note is that (while the opportunity is still there), if you sign up for the free challenge you might be eligible to get a $10.00 discount for the other important course: Pinterest with Ell – that is offered.
At the current time, one key component missing from my blog is a marketing plan. By taking the free blog traffic challenge I’ve been able to develop my marketing plan and put it into writing. As a new blogger, I was doing all of these things but didn’t have a clear vision of a marketing plan.
I have come to the simple conclusion that I’m wondering to myself what else could be missing by not taking the other course to improve website traffic. I’m going to register for her course Pinterest with Ell as soon as possible.
There are four components of a Marketing Plan
- Use Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked-in, etc.)
- E-mail marketing (Leadpages)
- Yoast SEO Plug-in
Altogether, use each of these four individual components to develop your marketing plan
After scouring the Internet looking for information what makes Ell’s blog traffic challenge stand out is this statement:
“(She) only recommends products she loves and uses regularly.”
- As mentioned before create two branded templates (featured images) to switch out for each post that contain your logo (recommended size of 400 X 600).
- (Optional) create a featured image for each of your categories.
- The size of your board cover pins (for Pinterest) should be 600 by 600.
- Branding your website should consist of two or three colors and to three fonts throughout the blog.
The Classic WordPress editor can easily be turned on. Once it’s no longer in use, you can revert back to the Gutenberg editor?
Simply click on the + sign with a circle, and it will be in formatting labelled “Classic.” Then the Classic editor will get enabled.
To change headings click in the box labelled Paragraph with a drop-down box.
use the shortcut keys Heading 1 = Shift + Alt + 1, for 2, replace the 1 with 2, etc.
Four required pages:
Your About Me page – make it stand out, personalize it. It’s an important feature that is often overlooked.
Contact Page – make it easy to find (in addition to having in your opt-in)
(a to do item for my website).
Disclosure Policy Page – search for Disclosure Policy Page Generator
If people have subscribed to your e-mail list you can gather that to a certain point you’ve received their trust, therefore keep it going by engaging with them.
The first step to creating a freebie using Leadpages is by creating an opt-in form. In the future, there’ll be a blog with step-by-step instructions for Leadpages. During that time I’ll look to see if Leadpages has the capability or not to link autoresponder to reCaptcha.
For the purpose of not collecting any bots as subscribers.
One idea for a welcome series is a four-week challenge broken down into 30 days over a four-week period. Step-by-step details will be in the next blog.
It’s extremely important to establish trust and the best way to build that trust is by offering your subscribers free content.
- Printables (planning pages)
- Monthly / Weekly / Daily challenges
- Electronic Ebook
- Free Canva templates
- Cheat sheets (i.e. WordPress, Word, Excel, etc.)
- Sales alerts
- Monthly bonuses
- Tips and suggestions
- Polls and surveys
I immediately started branding my Pinterest boards per Ell’s suggestion and the difference noticed is astounding. It does look a lot nicer by having the names of my boards within the board cover. It gives the boards a Professional touch.
It’s worth the extra time and trouble to for the SEO Readability and SEO Analysis within Yoast SEO because people are looking for answers to specific questions which could lead to referrals.
Before I finished I want to talk about my favorite plug-in tools to use for WordPress:
Protects your blog from spam – “used by millions quite possibly the best way the world to protect your block from spam” Aksimet Anti-Spam
“See how visitors find your website and how they use it to keep them coming back.” Google Analytics
Pinterest Artwork is in the developmental stages. It’s only a month old (as of Aug 1, 2020). In looking to the future, Google Analytics would be extremely helpful once there’s a lot of users on your board it, then it would be advantageous for you to look at your demographics overview in the paid versions.
Until then, the free version of Google Analytics has a few characteristics but not as detailed as the paid versions: 1) Agency Program costs $399.50/yr., 2) The Pro Version costs $199.50/yr., and 3) Plus Version costs $99.50/yr.
As of now, the versions cost 50% off of the suggested retail price.
The reason to consider getting one of the paid versions of Google Analytics is there’s no better way to find out what the audience wants from you
“Allows you to insert code or text directly to the header for review”
Ability to quickly add internal or external links easily.
Capability to create a pop that follows to Pinterest or Facebook.
The Social Warfare plug-in extremely helpful, within days after installing the social warfare plug five new users linked to their Social Media!
With the Social Warfare program, you’re able to go ahead and set it up that you can have the buttons below the post, above the post, or above and below.
Finally, my number one favorite plug-in is Yoast SEO premium it’s the first true all in one SEO solution for word press.
Readability (for Yoast SEO)
I’ve got the Readability portion of the SEO equation down pretty pat that most of the time I get green bullets in this area. However, the SEO Analysis portion is much more complex. The reason for this statement is the suggestions made that if you add a few words here or there (per the suggestions) you get a prompt now that you have too many or vice versa. It’s confusing to use.
SEO Analysis (for Yoast SEO)
- Notes about keywords, the keywords should be at the very front of your title.
- In the first 150 words use the key word at least once.
Why? Google puts a lot of weight on those first few words of your pages.
- Use a total of 5 to 8 external authority sides.
- Use 2 to 5 internal sites linking two pages within your site.
Once you have your keywords picked out you want to make sure you are sprinkling those keywords naturally throughout as well as adding them to headings.
Site Speed Plug-in
Currently I’m researching which plug-in to use for increasing site speed. The plan is to use four or five free utilities to measure my site speed and then I’ll be installing a Plug-in that I hope is easy to use.
I’m looking for one that doesn’t require a lot of coding and is easy to use. For the time being I’m not going to mention which plug-in that I’ll be using but I do have my eye on a particular plug-in that ranked fairly high and “looked” easy to use. Crossing the fingers, wish me luck.
Update: The best plug-in that I’ve found to greatly improve your website’s page speed is WP Rocket.
To have Google trust your website it’s important to get quality backlinks to help to help your Domain Authority. But the sites that you link to need to relate to your blog. Also, be sure and try to pick the sites that have a higher domain authority. I am looking to see if there is a good program online to readily provide this information (for sites with higher domain authority).
Affiliate sponsorship – increase to Mediavine standards
Bringing your traffic up to Mediavine standards.
“4-step SEO framework for scaling your Google traffic so you can get into Mediavine & double your Amazon affiliate commissions.”
If you want to learn in-depth, powerful SEO strategies then you need to check out Mike’s free webmaster course!